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Windows 8 release date set for 26 October

Microsoft today confirmed that it will release the final version of Windows 8 on 26 October.

Windows chief Steven Sinofsky made the announcement at Microsoft's annual sales meeting, according to a Microsoft blog post.

Earlier this month, Microsoft confirmed at its Worldwide Partner Conference that the new OS would be released in late October. "But now everyone has a specific date to mark on their calendars. It's on mine!" Microsoft spokesman Brandon LeBlanc wrote today.

The release to manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 8 is scheduled for August. At RTM, Microsoft will turn on its commerce platform, which will allow developers to start earning money from their apps. More details about that will be released soon, the company said at its partner conference. At this point, apps are free to try within the Windows 8 Release Preview.

In other Windows 8 news, Microsoft announced recently that users with PCs running Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for £14.99. Users in 131 markets will be able to purchase the upgrade package at when Redmond releases the new operating system.